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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

there, little sparks in the loneliness of time. And
always the guns boomed a few miles away, and the
droning aeroplanes looked down on the white seams
of the reserve trench lines with their tangle of wires
and posts.

Here, while the battalion began its "tours of
trenches" (six days in and four days out), I had my
meals comfortably with mild M. Ren< Perrineau and
Joe Dottrell. I slept in a canvas hut close to the
transport lines, falling asleep to the roar and rattle
of trench warfare four miles away, and waking to see,
on sunny mornings, the shadows of birds flitting across
my canvas roof, and to hear the whistling of starlings
from the fruit trees and gables of the farm near by.
After breakfast I would sit for a while reading a book
by the fire in DottrelPs billet, while the soldier cook
sang "I want to go to Michigan" at the top of his
voice about three yards away. But however much
he wanted to go to Michigan, he was lucky not to
be in the trenches, and so was I; and I knew it as
I toddled down to the transport lines to confer with
Sergeant Hoskins about getting some carrots and
greenstuff for the horses and indenting for some new
nosebags and neckpieces for the limber harness. Some
of the horses were looking hide-bound, and I pro-
mised the sergeant that Fd buy a couple of hundred-
weight of linseed for them when I went on leave.
Linseed was a cosy idea; it reminded me of peacetime
conditions.

Our serious activities began after lunch. At half-
past two I mounted the black mare, and old Joe
soused himself into the saddle of his pony Susan (a
veteran who had sustained a shrapnel wound on the
near hip at the first battle of Ypres), and the trans-
port moved off along the Bray road with the rations

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